Baseballs Like Concrete Baseball Enlists
SHORTAGES AFFECTED ALL ASPECTS of wartime life, but the lack of rubber struck at the literal core of baseball. Without cork and rubber centers, baseballs would no longer soar over outfield fences. The alternative: a substance called balata made from milky juices of tropical trees. 

Hailed by an advertisement as a miracle, the balata ball failed to fly. Eleven of the 1943 season's first 29 games ended in shutouts. Frank McCormick of the Cincinnati Reds compared hitting a balata ball to hitting a piece of concrete. Within weeks, the Spalding sporting goods company devised another formula and hitting returned to baseball.


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  Baseball Enlists
War Threatens Baseball
Changing Uniforms
War Dominates Baseball
Baseballs Like Concrete
A New Ball Game
Uncle Sam's Teams
Baseballs in Backpacks
The Uncertainty of Peace
"If We Can Stop Bullets ..."
Rosie the Outfielder
One Man's War



Baseball Enlists
War Threatens Baseball | Changing Uniforms
War Dominates Baseball | Baseballs Like Concrete
A New Ball Game | Uncle Sam's Teams
Baseball in Backpacks | The Uncertainty of Peace
"If We Can Stop Bullets ..." | Rosie the Outfielder
One Man's War
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